Lipotropic Factors

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Lipotropic factors are substances that have the ability to remove and prevent fatty deposits in the body. These nutrients essentially perform the task of breaking down and transporting fat from the liver. Lipotropic factors are important because they can help the liver function better as well as get rid of toxins. They are also needed in order to provide additional energy by burning the transported fat.

Lipotropic factors remove fatty deposits in the body.
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Lipotropic factors are found in the blood and act as natural emulsifiers. They function to hold together blood lipids in solutions and preventing the deposition of lipids within the cardiovascular system. The body produces its own lipotropic factors when it has access to substances such as choline, inositol, betaine, folic acid and vitamin B. What is common among these items is that they are necessary for proper metabolism and elimination of homocysteine, which is a type of oxidant.

Vitamin B is a lipotropic factor.
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There are different types of lipotropic factors. The first is choline which is needed by the body to metabolize members of the methyl group. It is an important component in the transportation of lipids. Choline is most commonly found in lecithin. If there is a shortage of choline in the body, the liver tends to be inundated by fats. Another example of a lipotropic factor is carnitine, a substance that is able to accept fatty acids and thus transport them. Other kinds of lipotropic factors include inositol, which is similar to choline.

Choline is a lipotropic factor that helps the body metabolize members of the methyl group.
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Fatty deposits can be dangerous because they reduce the circulation of the blood and lead to painful clots. Lipotropic factors prevent this from happening by getting rid of these fat deposits. In addition to this, these substances are needed by the body to cleanse and protect the liver from toxins. Lipotropic substances work on the liver by allowing it to produce more lecithin, which makes cholesterol more soluble. It also stimulates the thymus gland and makes the liver more resistant to disease.

A healthy person's liver makes cholesterol more soluble and stimulates the thymus gland.
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If the body is unable to produce enough lipotropic substances, fat and bile can build up in the liver. This can result in illnesses such as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is characterized by the replacement of liver tissue by scar tissue. A deficiency in inositol is also linked with depression. Furthermore, choline is recognized as an essential nutrient because it has the ability to defend against toxic compounds.

Fat and bile build up in the liver if the body is unable to produce enough lipotropic substances.
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Lipotropic factors are produced naturally in the body. Its components can be found in protein-rich foods such as meats. In recent years, lipotropic supplements have been made available in the market. These are normally administered through the use of injections. Lipotropic injections are mainly used to promote weight loss. These supplements work by stimulating the liver to create more lecithin and, thus, liquefy the cholesterol and ultimately get rid of it. There is some controversy in their use as no long-term research is currently available.

Lipotropic supplements and injections have become popular in recent years.
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References

  • Alternative medicine : The Definitive Guide, Larry Trivieri; John W Anderson; Burton Goldberg Group, Berkeley : Celestial Arts, 2002.
  • Nutrition and Immunology: Principles and Practice. edited by M Eric Gershwin, J Bruce German, and Carl L Keen, Totowa, N.J. : Humana Press, 2000.
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